Cruise Control: Dragons blow out Martin in playoff opener
ARLINGTON -- For those thinking the postseason would bring out a closer game for the Southlake Carroll football team, they'll have to wait for at least another round.
Carroll had just as easy of a time in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I, Region I playoffs Friday as it did during the district season in which the Dragons dominated their opponents.
Friday was no different as the Dragons beat Arlington Martin, 65-7.
Carroll (10-1) will face El Paso El Dorado, who defeated Odessa Permian, in the area round at a time and place to be determined. Martin finishes the season at 7-4.
During the district season, the Dragons outscored their opponents, 479-52.
The trend continued Friday as Carroll built a 28-0 lead after the first quarter. Senior quarterback Kenny Hill threw two touchdown passes to junior receiver Luke Timian, and he also ran in a score. Junior running back A.J. Ezzard scored on a 57-yard run.
In the second quarter, Hill connected with junior receiver Ryan Weigel on a 63-yard touchdown pass, ran in a 64-yard score and Ezzard scored his second touchdown of the game to put Carroll on top, 49-0, at the half.
In fact, Carroll scored on its first eight possessions stretching into the third quarter. Not until late in the third frame did the Dragons punt for the first time when it was stopped at its own 49-yard line.
"We have been looking forward to the playoffs all year," Hill said. "We're trying to prove to people that we are a good football team."
Hill said the Dragons don't get the credit they deserve since they lost the first game of the season to Allen and then played in a district that many have said was unchallenging.
Hill said the team expected Martin to provide a challenge.
"We thought it would be harder," he said. "But our game plan was just working. We came out quick and that was the plan all week."
Quick indeed. The Dragons' first score came less than two minutes into the game. The next one was 1:38 later.
The Dragons were efficient with their plays, too. In the first half, the Dragons scored a touchdown on their first play of the drive twice, on their first two plays once and on their first five plays twice.
In the first half, 16 of Carroll's 32 plays were for 10 yards or more.
Hill was dominant on the ground and in the air. He rushed eight times for 141 yards, and he completed 15-of-16 passes for 249 yards.
"Anytime you have a seasoned veteran like Hill, and an offensive line that continues to improve," said Hal Wasson, Carroll head coach, "... (assistant) coach (Clayton) George put a lot on their shoulders and the intense preparation came out tonight."
Hill had help, though. Weigel finished with four catches for 108 yards, Timian caught three for 63, senior receiver Mike Gardiner was five for 47 and junior receiver Keaton Duhon was two for 27.
"Coach told us that this is the time we need to take it up a notch," Hill said. "So that's what we did tonight."
In the second half, sophomore quarterback Ryan Agnew took the snaps, and he was 6-for-9 with a touchdown pass and a touchdown run, finishing with 123 yards. Senior receiver Derek McLemore caught two of Agnew's passes for 73 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that made it 65-0.
But while Carroll's offense was hitting its stride all night, the Dragons' defense was, too. Playing against a Martin squad that was missing star running back Kyle Hicks, Carroll limited the Warriors to 123 total yards in the first half and 154 yards after halftime. Hill alone accounted for 390 yards in the first half.
Among the big defensive plays for the Dragons were interceptions from senior defensive backs Aaron Hoagland and Ray Crockett in the first and second quarters, respectively.
"Martin is a good team," Wasson said. "But we were just on tonight."